Jump to content
  • 0

Dodgy Keyboard


Bryan
 Share

Question

My aged Research Machines keyboard has seen me through at least 3 computers, but, despite its rugged construction, and frequent cleaning, the space bar is no longer functioning properly. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. I know keyboards are not expensive, but I prefer to repair rather than discard.

 

Any hints or tips on how to proceed?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Recommended Posts

  • 0
7 minutes ago, Thyrsis said:

No advice, but do you know Research Machines was co-founded in Oxford by Mike Fischer who was also co-founder of Alamy along with James West!

 

News to me!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

Hello Bryan,

 

Any Repair café in your area? 
Are you handyman (I’m not sure if this is the right translation)?
It could be something very silly, like a deformed or worn spring. It should be easy to lift the keyboard key and have a look.
I also prefer to repair as much as it is possible. For many reasons.

 

Good luck with the repair! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

Assuming it's an old box-type  keyboard you should be able to unscrew the top and have a look round.

I'm working from memory now but space bars usually sit on a wire cradle so they can transfer the pressure from wherever you hit them to the switch, which may just be dirty or sticky with coffee or whatever. So have a go with a Qtip and isoprop (or lens cleaner!) or maybe some mechanical adjustment. If the switch is dodgy internally you've probably had it for spares.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

Have you dismantled the keyboard?  If so, what type of switches are below the keys?

 

I'm not familiar with this model but some early keyboards used magnetic reed switches which occasionally failed.  Easy enough to replace if you are handy with a soldering iron.

 

Some used miniature push buttons - this sort of thing.  Not so easy to replace.

 

More modern membrane keyboards are the easiest - just dismantle it, dump all the parts in a bowl of water with a drop of washing-up liquid, give everything a good scrub with a paint brush or similar, rinse in fresh water and leave to dry.

Edited by Vincent Lowe
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

First of all which keyboard is it?

Is it really made by RM or is it maybe a re-badged one?

Second: I know the feeling. I use a Logitech keyboard with a scroll wheel under my left ring finger. These are long discontinued. Now when I see a NOS - New Old Stock - one, I buy it. Usually under $10 or Euro. I keep the old ones for spares and the basket cases for learning how to take them apart.

I don't take extra precautions cleaning or maintaining them, even if I should. For dusting I use a cheap microfiber duster, and sometimes a bit of air from a can. For a more forceful blast I use the compressor.

 

wim

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
8 hours ago, Ed Rooney said:

Tech help? Advice? Hmm. I have trouble getting the cap off the jam jar. 🥵

 

 

bang it softly on counter corner (preferably one that doesn't chip or dent), and wrap the lid with an elastic band

 

 

added: have no idea about keyboards, but opening jars you call me.  Priorities!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
9 hours ago, Ed Rooney said:

Tech help? Advice? Hmm. I have trouble getting the cap off the jam jar. 🥵

I prefer a slap lid-down on the counter top, or if you're VERY, VERY CAREFUL, prise under the lid with the tip of a stiff table knife to release the vacuum. But that runs the risk of chipping the glass.

Hot water is supposed to expand the metal lid, but that's scary too. Or you could just eat something out of a packet instead.

Edited by spacecadet
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

You, Mark, obviously live in one of those posh places with surface space in the kitchen.

 

Gen, of course, can do whatever she wants out there in the deep end of the Outback.  🤔

Edited by Ed Rooney
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

Well that created some useful discussion!  Thanks for the hints and tips. The keyboard is screwed together so I might try taking it apart for a thorough clean, I can always buy another if I can't get it back together. 

 

Wim - I have used Logitech tracker balls for many moons, far superior to a mouse, but reliability is an issue. My hardwired tracker failed due to a faulty microswitch, apparently a common fault as there is a Youtube video explaining how to fix it - involves complete dissassembly, sourcing a switch and resoldering etc - but I bought a wireless replacement. Not as good but it does work - after Mark recommended moving the sender  nearer to the trackerball !

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
1 hour ago, Bryan said:

Well that created some useful discussion!  Thanks for the hints and tips. The keyboard is screwed together so I might try taking it apart for a thorough clean, I can always buy another if I can't get it back together. 

 

Wim - I have used Logitech tracker balls for many moons, far superior to a mouse, but reliability is an issue. My hardwired tracker failed due to a faulty microswitch, apparently a common fault as there is a Youtube video explaining how to fix it - involves complete dissassembly, sourcing a switch and resoldering etc - but I bought a wireless replacement. Not as good but it does work - after Mark recommended moving the sender  nearer to the trackerball !

 

Yes it's the same with their keyboards: both wired and wireless exist and I have both, I prefer the wired version, but my wife uses a wireless one. Luckily they're mechanically identical.

The reason I like the scroll wheel on the left so much is that I have a Wacom pen in my right hand - always. (Well almost 😁)

The old Wacom tablet had a mouse as well, the new one doesn't.

 

wim

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
8 hours ago, Ed Rooney said:

Gen, of course, can do whatever she wants out there in the deep end of the Outback.  🤔

 

No problem, I just wedge it between a croc and a hard place. 😂

  • Haha 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

 

I do have a tool for loosening tight jar lids, not like the one above but similar. Hardly ever use it.

 

Although I am of slight build I have always had strong wrists and grip. Probably comes from working in heavy engineering.

 

As an apprentice it was common to be sent to the stock room to collect 6 nuts and bolts. Not the sort used on cars or bicycles, these were about 6" (150mm) in diameter and about 24" (600mm) long. I carried them back in my arms. Others would use a wheeled trolly. Don't think I could do it these days, maybe three only.

 

Allan

 

Edited by Allan Bell
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
7 minutes ago, Allan Bell said:

 

I do have a tool for loosening tight jar lids, not like the one above but similar. Hardly ever use it.

 

Although I am of slight build I have always had strong wrists and grip. Probably comes from working in heavy engineering.

 

As an apprentice it was common to be sent to the stock room to collect 6 nuts and bolts. Not the sort used on cars or bicycles, these were about 6" (150mm) in diameter and about 24" (600mm) long. I carried them back in my arms. Others would use a wheeled trolly. Don't think I could do it these days, maybe three only.

 

Allan

 

 

I worked in a book binding factory the old hands would send us newbies on stupid errands such as ' Go and ask Frank for a long wait/weight'

Edited by geogphotos
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
Just now, geogphotos said:

 

I worked in a book binding factory the old hands would send us newbies on stupid errands such as ' Go and ask Frank for a long wait/weight'

 

Ha Ha!  Yes apprentices were sent for all sorts of stupid things till they twigged. Things like "sky hooks", "tartan paint", "a capful of nail holes" as well as your long wait.

 

There were more but can't bring them all to mind at the moment. I'm sure others will chime in with their favourites.

 

Allan

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0
4 minutes ago, Allan Bell said:

 

Ha Ha!  Yes apprentices were sent for all sorts of stupid things till they twigged. Things like "sky hooks", "tartan paint", "a capful of nail holes" as well as your long wait.

 

There were more but can't bring them all to mind at the moment. I'm sure others will chime in with their favourites.

 

Allan

 

 

Non-stick glue

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 0

Pleased that this thread has raised such a degree of frivolity!

 

Good news on the keyboard front, I used a can of compressed air to blast under the shift key and that appears to have done the trick!.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.